Tracey Joynson

Power network lease puts $10b in NSW coffers

A CONSORTIUM of Canadian, Middle Eastern and Australian investors has committed to the $10.258 billion lease of a large portion of NSW's electricity network.

Premier Mike Baird this morning announced the 99-year lease of high-voltage electricity transmission asset Transgrid had been won.

The government hopes to raise $20 billion in total for infrastructure projects once it has partially leased the final two pieces of the "poles and wires" network, Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy.

The winning consortium, NSW Electricity Networks, consists of:

• Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), a Canadian pension fund (24.99%)
• Hastings, as manager of Utilities Trust of Australia (20.02%)
• Tawreed Investments Limited, the global direct infrastructure investment vehicle of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (19.99%)
• Wren House Infrastructure, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kuwait Investment Authority (19.99%)
• Spark Infrastructure, an ASX listed owner of energy infrastructure and Australian infrastructure manager (15.01%)

"We've taken a giant step in spending taxpayers' money more wisely on things that make a difference to their daily lives like better schools, hospitals, public transport and roads," Mr Baird said.

"This is a great result for NSW taxpayers and shows the comprehensive plan we took to the election is the right one for the future of NSW."

The successful consortium has guaranteed total network charges will be lower in 2019 than they were in 2014.

The government says it will retain "significant influence" over  TransGrid as lessor, licensor, as safety and reliability regulator and through the planning system.

The partial long-term lease of Ausgrid is expected to be completed by mid-2016.